A tube of Winsor & Newton Artists Oil Colour next to a stroke of oil paint on oil painting paper

How to Choose the Right Oil Paper

Oil Painting Papers offer you an available, inexpensive floor that has some of the familiarity of canvas but without the need of its weight and bulk. Even improved – these papers occur completely ready primed, so you really do not need to have to devote time prepping them just before painting. They are ideal for quick research as effectively as concluded paintings. Here we take a search at our oil portray paper variety, see how they differ from other artwork papers and explore how to prep other papers so they are all set for oil portray.

A tube of Winsor & Newton Artists Oil Colour next to a stroke of oil paint on oil painting paper

When you feel of oil paint and paper your initial response will in all probability be that the two don’t mix. It could shock new oil painters in distinct to hear that oil portray on paper is thoroughly feasible. Even though it’s correct that most paper will take in oil and steadily degrade above time, oil papers are specifically dealt with to substantially decrease this happening. In point, Winsor & Newton dispel any myths that paper isn’t suited for oils:

Oil paint is fully steady when painted on correctly well prepared paper any weakness of oil on paper would be because of to the absence of rigidity in the sheet vs . a board or canvas.

So furnishing your paper is appropriately taken care of, there is completely no purpose why you should not use oil paint on it. Its only weak spot will arrive from its absence of rigidity. Traditionally, canvas and panel have been significantly additional well known than paper – but today’s oil portray papers provide artists with a reliable, everlasting floor that demands minimal to no preparing. It is also comparably extra easy to store, transportation and ship. There are even solutions for artists seeking to prep other varieties of paper they currently personal to make them appropriate for use with oil paints. Locate out far more about our oil portray papers and prepping other papers for oil portray by working with the backlinks below or continue on looking through for a whole overview.


What is Oil Portray Paper

Oil portray papers are specifically dealt with to deliver out the most effective general performance of your oil paints. Oil paint is effectively built up from two critical factors – the pigment and the oil binder. The oil binder is the component that poses the dilemma for paintings created on paper. In an untreated paper, the oil material of the paint would immediately soak up into the paper fibres. Not only will this make your paper rot over time, it will also cause your paints to become dull and flat. As the paint loses its binder it will also start off producing adhesion troubles. In the worst case situation you will find that your oil paint starts crumbling absent. The excellent news is that any oil painting paper includes measurement to avoid this occurring.

Oil staining on the reverse of unprimed paper painted with oils.

Sizing to manage absorption

Measurement is basically a sealant that functions as a barrier among the paper and whatever paints and mediums you utilize to it. It radically cuts down the sum of oil that absorbs into the paper, so you needn’t worry about the very long-term longevity or integrity of your paints. Though no paper is 100% resistant to oil absorption, oil papers cut down it to a position where you needn’t believe too a great deal it impacting your painting. This sizing ensures your paint will sit radiantly on the paper’s floor, retaining its brightness and gloss.

Which oil paints should really you use on oil painting paper?

A stroke of Viridian green oil paint painted onto oil painting paper with a hog bristle brush

Oil Painting Papers are suited for use with any oil paints – irrespective of whether you desire working with regular oils, quickly-drying alkyds, drinking water-mixable oils or oil sticks. If you thin your h2o-mixable oil paints with water on your own you could recognize that the paint beads up a little, in particular with really dilute apps. Doing work with rapidly-drying alkyd oil paints will further more lower the seepage of oil into your paper.

Texture and Composition

All oil papers have some degree of tooth and texture to them. The majority are pressed with a linen-like sample that mimics the tooth and drag you’d working experience on legitimate canvas. Two noteworthy exceptions are Arches Huile and Fabriano Pittura. Both equally these papers have an irregular texture to them, that is a lot more akin to a NOT watercolour paper. Color intelligent, oil painting papers vary from just about white to a creamy off-white.

Comparison of texture between Fabriano Tela (top) and Arches Huile (bottom)

Most of our oil portray papers are made from acid-free wood pulp. This pulp is free of charge from lignin to make sure that it is archival. The only exception is Arches Huile, which is designed from 100% cotton. Cotton is the purest form of cellulose obtainable for paper earning, and imparts fantastic strength and resilience on this surface area.

Why Should I use Oil Portray Paper as a substitute of Canvas?

Paper offers a lot of gains above standard stretched canvases, canvas boards and portray panels. For rookies, the price tag of paper is a good deal much more available. It’s great for tests out new mediums and you will have fewer inhibitions or worries about ‘wasting’ costly artwork provides. This tends to make it considerably easier to exercise and find out the ropes of a new medium. If you locate you definitely delight in it there will normally be the choice of canvas and panels really should you have to have them.

Artists canvas and frames in storage

It also can make a excellent area for artists who like the thought of portray on paper, but who are hesitant to spend the time and funds on priming other papers. These papers can be painted on as quickly as they are in your fingers – so you are all set to produce as shortly as inspiration strikes!

Oil paper is also much easier to store, transport and ship. This makes it suitable for artists who go to lessons or paint outdoor. Carrying a pad of paper is a great deal much easier than lugging about bulky canvases or weighty boards. Paintings on paper can also be stored and delivered flat, with comparatively couple of elements and room needed to ship them.

Having said that, there are some downsides to utilizing paper. Typically, paper is not encouraged for pretty thick apps of paint. It is a great deal a lot more flexible and fragile, and thus extra susceptible to problems than both canvas or panel. Humidity will bring about your paper to develop and contract – a phenomenon that will become far more seen with age. Some artists pick out to fight this deterioration by adhering their oil paintings on paper to board for further help, with some also framed at the rear of glass.

Our Range of Oil Portray Papers

We have a broad assortment of oil portray papers from nicely proven art manufacturers. Each of the papers below comes pre-primed so you never have to fear about prepping when your paper arrives. You can set paint to paper as quickly as they’re in your palms! Our oil portray paper variety includes:

Oil paper sheets and pads (from remaining to correct) – Fabriano Pittura, Fabriano Tela, Arches Huile, Georgian, Winsor & Newton Oil and Acrylic, Winsor & Newton Oil, Cobra.

These papers change a little in their color and texture. Most of them are pressed with a canvas-like texture, however the Arches and Pittura the two have a surface area very similar to NOT watercolour paper. While it is not strictly a canvas ‘paper’, Canvas Pads give the familiarity of portray on legitimate canvas, but without having the bulk of a stretcher. These pads include sheets of real canvas, that are pre-primed so you never have to fear about prep. Like paper, these pads will warp with significant applications of paint.

Loxley and Fredrix Canvas Pads showing genuine canvas texture
Both equally Loxley and Fredrix Canvas Pads are produced with legitimate primed canvas.

Do I have to paint on Oil Portray Paper?

The small answer to this problem is ‘no’ – you don’t have to use an oil portray paper if you are doing the job in oils. Having said that, if you choose to function on a non oil painting paper you are going to need to have to do a bit additional preparing and priming of the area. With out this you are going to locate the oil binder will leach into your paper this means your paints will not adhere and will boring more than time. In the worst case circumstance your paint could crumble from the area. Some artists come to feel that the time expended prepping and priming isn’t worth the trouble. Whilst for other people, the more function assists them attain a surface that perfectly suits their painting system.

Two tubes of oil paint on paper painted with strokes of oil

For quite a few artists, operating with a non oil painting paper features them a lot more selection in both body weight and texture. For example, you’ll locate couple of oil portray papers that exceed 300gsm (Pittura is our heaviest at 400gsm). If you work in oil, and don’t brain a bit of extra function you could select to perform on a major fat watercolour paper up to 640gsm. Our greatest good quality, 100% cotton watercolour papers will offer the greatest security and longevity, and externally sized papers will signify the paper absorbs less oil. You are going to also have the selection of performing on a sleek (Hot Pressed), reasonably textured (NOT) or really textured (Rough) surface. These textures will remain even after you use measurement and primer, which can bring fascinating attributes to your paintings. When its value investing in a large paper for your concluded paintings, a lighter pounds paper would be great for swift studies.

Making ready your paper for use with oil paints

You can prepare most papers so they are suitable for oil painting. It breaks down to just two procedures – sizing the paper and priming the paper. Measurement is a material added to paper to management its absorption. Priming coats your paper in a substance (generally an acrylic-primarily based Gesso or Oil Primer) that presents a bit of ‘tooth’ for your paints to adhere to.

Applying oil paint on paper really highlights the worth of suitable area preparation. Poor preparation not only leaves your portray susceptible to deterioration, but also makes tons of extra perform for these who look soon after your artwork in the long run.

Sizing your paper

Priming paper for oil painting with Golden Fluid Matte Medium.

Size is basically a sealant that controls absorption and reduces the sum of oil that leeches into your paper. You can also use acrylic mediums to dimension paper ready for oil painting. In the examples proven under we utilized two distinct mediums – Golden Fluid Matte Acrylic Medium and Golden Matte Acrylic Medium – to sizing the paper. A person thin layer of dimensions really should be sufficient – though if you are utilizing an oil-dependent primer alternatively than acrylic gesso you may well need to have to utilize far more layers.

Priming your paper

Primer sits in between the dimension and the paint you implement. It has ‘tooth’ which implies that it will adhere to your paper improved than paint by itself, and will also add texture for your paint to adhere to. If you are performing on paper then you can use possibly acrylic gesso or oil centered primer. Use Gesso or primer in slim levels, only introducing successive layers if the former layer is absolutely dry. You really should brush just about every layer on in the opposite route to the layer before. The last layer will form the floor that your paint can properly adhere to. This ultimate layer will have a purely natural tooth. The act of applying your gesso in unique instructions will also add to its texture.

Applying gesso to primed paper for oil painting

It is worthy of noting that your paper does need to be moderately heavy to stand up to the application of sizing and primer devoid of warping. The primary challenge will be trying to keep your paper flat. If you obtain your paper is cockling, you can tape down the edges of your paper to cut down it. At the time dry you can also run the paper about a table’s edge to counteract the warping. As soon as sizing and primer are on the paper you should go away it to dry for 3 days before you apply your paint.

Other Papers Suited for Oil Painting

You can prep virtually any paper for portray with oils – but you’ll require to consider about what you want from your painting in order to pick out an correct paper.

If you are just hunting to generate brief sketches or colour experiments then you are going to probably come across that a rather light-weight cartridge or watercolour paper is acceptable. You could also get away with merely dealing with the paper with a couple levels of gesso and forgoing the altogether if longevity is not a problem.

Watercolour Paper

Watercolour Paper is readily available in a fantastic array of weights and textures. Investing in a substantial high quality paper also offers you the possibility to work on a 100% cotton surface – best if you are hunting to include to the longevity of your artwork. Nonetheless prices can shortly mount if you select to decide for the heaviest, 100% cotton papers.

The image below displays two strokes of oil paint – common oil (the darker blue) and h2o mixable oil (lighter blue) – examined on patches of paper prepped and primed in different ways. The samples have been still left to dry for over 12 months. It’s very clear from on the lookout at the oil staining on the again of the sheet that suitable preparing reduces oil seepage.

Blue oil paint tested on Watercolour Paper with and without primer
Leading Still left – unprimed. Best Ideal – primed with 1 Gesso layer. Base Remaining – sized with one particular layer of fluid matte medium and 3 layers of Gesso. Bottom Suitable – sized with 1 layer of matte medium and three layers of Gesso

Cartridge Paper

Cartridge Paper is quite low-cost, and is obtainable in a range of weights – having said that, you won’t get as hefty a paper as you would in our watercolour paper ranges. Lighter weights are vulnerable to cockling when sized and primed, but are nevertheless valuable for building brief scientific studies. The samples beneath ended up painted in the similar way as the watercolour paper earlier mentioned, even so they have been still left to dry for only 6 months.

Blue oil paint tested on Snowdon Cartridge papers with and without primer
Best Remaining – unprimed. Top Suitable – primed with 1 Gesso layer. Bottom Still left – sized with a person layer of fluid matte medium and a few levels of Gesso. Base Proper – sized with a person layer of matte medium and 3 levels of Gesso

Varnishing Oil Paintings on Paper

You really should varnish your oil paintings on paper as you would any other oil portray. The application of varnish will not only protect versus dust and grime, but will also unify the sheen, safeguard in opposition to UV destruction and will allow for quick cleaning. The normal rule of thumb is that an oil portray shouldn’t be varnished for at the very least 6 months just after it is done. For thicker applications drying will consider even longer – whilst if you are utilizing paper your purposes won’t be this thick.

Artist painting a layer of gloss varnish onto an oil painting on panel

If you are not sure regardless of whether your painting is dry or not you can take a look at it with a rag. Dip a lint-absolutely free rag in solvent and rub it carefully on the area of your portray. Lift the cloth and verify it for color. If it lifts any color then you’ll have to have to hold out for a longer time for your painting to dry. If there is no color on the rag then you can varnish your portray.

Some artists discover they cannot wait the 6 months or more for their paintings to dry totally. If you’re in this place and have to have to give it some short term security then you could use retouching varnish. Retouching varnish adds a small longevity to a not too long ago completed painting even though nevertheless permitting it to ‘breathe’ and dry extensively. The moment your painting is totally dry you can apply your remaining varnish.

Displaying Oil Paintings on Paper

Oil paintings on paper are vulnerable to injury. For the reason that of this it’s advisable to frame them guiding glass. Paper is also far more vulnerable to deterioration because of its versatility. You can reduce this adaptability by adhering it to a panel. You can do this using a fantastic top quality acrylic medium as an adhesive.

Learn our whole assortment of oil portray papers on the internet, as effectively as oil paints, oil brushes and oil mediums.